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NHISD announces lone finalist for Superintendent

Dr. Darin Jolly
Courtesy Photo

North Hopkins Independent School District Board of Trustees with assistance from Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Executive Search Services recently announced the lone finalist for the position of Superintendent as East Texas native Dr. Darin Jolly. He will be replacing the retiring Donna George. The final decision is set for Thursday, June 2.

“We are excited about it, and I think he is too,” said NHISD Board President Allen Joslin. “I think he will help us solve some issues we have had.”  As stated in a press release on May 11, the NHISD Board determined that Jolly fits the profile for NHISD’s continued progress and future successes. According to Joslin, out of a pool of 55 applicants, the Board carefully screened and selected six applicants for initial interviews. Three applicants were further vetted and invited back for a second interview.

Dr. Jolly recently resigned this same position at Kenedy ISD in light of admitting an effort to shield a student or students from getting caught after being found using a prohibited substance, as reported by The Karnes Countywide (mySouTex.com) – a weekly newspaper. The story goes on to state Karnes County Sheriff Dwayne Villanueva said school administrators are obligated by law to report crimes that happen on campus, and the parents he spoke with are wondering why the police were not called in this circumstance. When questioned on the matter Dr. Jolly said the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prevented him from discussing it. The final statement from the Kenedy ISD made no mention if school board members or others were involved in the cover-up.

Joslin said the Trustees were looking for someone to help with the curriculum, and that he will have a full statement for the media at a later time.

Dr. Jolly’s administration resume includes his nine months at Kenedy ISD, two years as Winona High School Principal, five years at Mabank as Junior Principal prior to that he spent time as a Band Director at Mabank, Coleman, Elkhart and Westwood High Schools. As Superintendent at KISD, he led the 800 student school district to provide more access and equity for students by establishing more dual credit and CTE opportunities for students through Coastal Bend Community College. Jolly sought improvement of cafeteria food service and oversaw an 18 million dollar secondary school construction project.

He earned his Doctorate of Education from Stephen F. Austin. He is presently at Rotary member, to which the Club’s motto is “service over self.”

In his online biography he summarizes that he “believes in purpose-driven values and life practices for excellence.”

Jolly stated, “I have made full disclosure of all my experiences in Kenedy to the North Hopkins Board and their search consultants. Kenedy is an amazing district in a fantastic community with great people, businesses, and partnerships for education. My wife and I will always treasure our experience in Kenedy but it is time for us to move on and we are excited about the opportunity to move back home to East Texas….I’m eager to move forward in North Hopkins ISD and I’m thankful for the confidence and trust afforded to me by the Board of Trustees. I am very grateful for all the kindness and hospitality that has already been extended to my family by Donna George and the North Hopkins faculty and staff. They could not be more welcoming.”

He has been married to his college sweetheart, Cara, for 23 years. They have two children: Elizabeth, 21 and Aaron, 19.

“I’m excited to be a part of the North Hopkins community and moving this amazing district to even greater heights. This is a great school that we can make even greater,” said Jolly. “Cara and I consider this as truly a dream job. Not many people can say that.”

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